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terse

[turs]
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adjective, ters·er, ters·est.
  1. neatly or effectively concise; brief and pithy, as language.
  2. abruptly concise; curt; brusque.
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Origin of terse

1595–1605; < Latin tersus, past participle of tergēre to rub off, wipe off, clean, polish
Related formsterse·ly, adverbterse·ness, nounun·terse, adjectiveun·terse·ly, adverbun·terse·ness, noun

Synonyms

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1. succinct, compact, neat, concentrated.

Synonym study

1, 2. See concise.
Dictionary.com Unabridged Based on the Random House Unabridged Dictionary, © Random House, Inc. 2018

Examples from the Web for tersely

Contemporary Examples

Historical Examples

  • "Now stop this nerve strain and this foolishness," he said tersely.

    Her Father's Daughter

    Gene Stratton-Porter

  • "That I have the jewels," he told her tersely, looking straight ahead.

    The Black Bag

    Louis Joseph Vance

  • As Susan so tersely expressed it, they would "canvass the nation for freedom."

  • "Not lack of brains, but lack of money," she tersely replied.

  • The conditions of a well bound book may be tersely enumerated.

    The Library

    Andrew Lang


British Dictionary definitions for tersely

terse

adjective
  1. neatly brief and concise
  2. curt; abrupt
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Derived Formstersely, adverbterseness, noun

Word Origin

C17: from Latin tersus precise, from tergēre to polish
Collins English Dictionary - Complete & Unabridged 2012 Digital Edition © William Collins Sons & Co. Ltd. 1979, 1986 © HarperCollins Publishers 1998, 2000, 2003, 2005, 2006, 2007, 2009, 2012

Word Origin and History for tersely

terse

adj.

1590s (implied in tersely), "clean-cut, burnished, neat," from French ters "clean," from Latin tersus "wiped off, clean, neat," from past participle of tergere "to rub, polish, wipe." Sense of "concise or pithy in style or language" is from 1777, which led to a general sense of "neatly concise." The pejorative meaning "brusque" is a fairly recent development. Related: Terseness.

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Online Etymology Dictionary, © 2010 Douglas Harper